This section was discussed in the context of Full Council previously asking the Mayor to: By spring 2020 investigate, and implement if financially feasible, the introduction of an enforceable “anti-vehicle idling” zone outside every school and in every park in the city.
Officers said this requires specific enforcement powers. As noted above it was said that banners and/or messages could be confusing especially if used outside schools.
It was that it is a criminal offence to idle unless queuing in traffic but it’s difficult to enforce. The law isn’t generally used for enforcement because people tend to switch off their engines when asked. This means it is not self-financing.
Officers said they would like to see a mix of both approaches (enforcement and voluntary behaviour change) for example they would like people to turn their engines off when queuing in traffic and that they would prefer to invite people to be part of the solution rather than penalising them.
Officers said that the backs of buses have shown to be an effective part of campaigns in the past. But ideally it would be best if people didn’t actually use their cars so often rather than just switch their engines off when stationary.
Officers had as previously asked by the Commission had a discussion with Director of Public Health about this. It was said they are keen to do some work on this especially around behaviour change initiatives.
One Member he was generally keen on the school streets project rather than just the no idling.
Officers said there was still room to try affecting behaviour changes on no idling such a posters and banners. Members were shown some of these were generally impressed by them. Officers said these could be deployed in areas where pollution was high, such outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI). It was said that there is a 15 minute drop-off / waiting time outside the hospital and most drivers leave their engines running unnecessarily for the full 15 minutes.
Members asked about whether it was thought some measures would just push the problem elsewhere. Officers said that displacement was a concern and would be considered when any trials were held.
The Commission thanked the transport officers for their time and general candour throughout the meeting.